Tuesday, September 11, 2007

we are not. on first name. basis.

Hai guyz, I'm much better now after my double-barrelled shot of pure melancholy, although the thought of absent iPods still has the power to twist the knife in the gizzards now and then. But it's okay, you can stop passing the hat around and use the money for your own nefarious ends now. Thanks for all your sympathy and many hugs to you for sending good thoughts my way.

I thought I would return in a state of calm, empowered equanimity, but as it happens, I come in a state of pissed-offness. Why? Because Britney Spears has re-appeared in our lives, and subsequently eaten the media up. Or so the media [your average Fox/CNN/reliable web news sources] believes, for it calls her new avatar "fat," and "chunky" besides, and so chooses to expend its energies on bull about her non-performance at MTV's Video Music Awards two nights ago instead of reporting on like, real injustice.

I spent some time flicking over the comments and the outrage about everything from her clothes [which had me seeing red at their sheer porny fugliness] to her performance [lackluster] to the critical opinions, which run the full gamut, from 'the ho deserves to be smacked down, she's made money off us for years and now the time has come to cast her off, for she is deadweight passe ex-virgin now,' to 'awww, the poor baby, she doesn't deserve to be criticised so hard, she's a victim here!' pausing every few opinions or so to sigh or groan at the idea that somehow, because she has ill-advisedly spawned two children before the age of twenty-five and not had her third and fourth ribs removed from her torso as compensation for the change in her body shape, she is now fat. I'm amazed at so many people feeling like the IT'S BRITNEY, BITCH phenomenon is a watershed in their cultural life. I don't blame Britney Spears for being so awful: she has no competition and the constant infantilisation of pop culture and cultural consumers has made her top of the dung-heap from which we currently derive artistic sustenance. Her life is comedy. I'm sure she has every right to protest this, even if she or the bunch of suits who packaged her have taken away her options to get out of the glass jar in which she currently exists. I'll admit I laughed uproariously at the report that she responded to Keira Knightley's comments about "feeling sorry for Britney" with a "who's Keira Knightley?" because she has at least that one double-edged weapon, fame, in her arsenal, to hit out at the patronizing cycle of ridicule-sympathy-ridicule-sympathy spinning around her.

I roundly hate Spears' music and regret wasting so many minutes of my life at the age of fourteen grooving to it, and over all I think I would sleep better at night if the cult of Brit Brit just went away and took its little disciples, Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan, with it, so I am actually quite annoyed at blogging about this, as well as being forced into a position where I have to defend her detestable empire of vacuity because my humanity forces me to acknowledge that there is a person caught up in its centre. But as I was watching this do the rounds of the YouTube/feminist/culture/fan blogosphere over the last two days I felt the cold hand of fear clutch at my heart, because I thought to myself, my god, one day this acrimonious, vapid, deeply sexist culture war is going to blow up to its fullest extent to India, and there will be one more thing to obscure the problems of women dying and not being educated and not having control over their bodies, lifestyles, children or property, because it also sells. I mean, it's already here and no one has noticed, because I don't see anyone [apart from Aishwarya] expending too much time being outraged over the disgustingly classist, sexist, deeply hypocritical problem society seems to have with Rakhi Sawant, for example, but someone has got to be around to be righteously angry when we buy ourselves our own little blow-up doll and pretend like our money didn't go into it.

Phew, if you didn't read all that, I'm now reading Corner Of A Foreign Field and enjoying it two chapters in. Also, next up, Project Objectify!


  1. So I take a break from watching TV, get online and I'm back to Britney.


    I think she's chasing me. Now I'm sure I'm gonna dream about her.

    btw, checkout my new site A Geek Story

  2. this isn't so much about sexism, as it about celeb-ism. we all want to see the rich and famous tumble. they made fun of 'K-Fed' too, didn't they?

  3. On a quite unrelated note, thought you'd like to know about this, in case you didn't already.

  4. Of course it is about sexism, you don't see the world going up in flames about Justin Timberlake's shenanigans, do you? Or putting him in a position where he feels compelled to, I don't know, behave like a perfect idiot the way Brit Brit does. Not that I don't think Justin Timberlake is a perfect idiot. It's just interesting that his idiocies are much more readily accepted/accommodated/viewed as normal in our culture.

    K-Fed got nothing close to the sort of bashing B Spears did.

    And thank you for the link! As thanks to you to, Sashidhar A. :)

  5. k-fed didn't because he's just an celeb by association. but britney gets it more because people perhaps expect a mother of two young kids to show some sense, and not go crotch-flashing.

    and leo's brains are on the web. hahahahaha. way too funny.

  6. This is charming. Prompted by a friend, have been reading your posts intermittently for the last three days. Flair is the word. Quite Impressive. Easily one of the best Indian blogs as far as writing goes.

    Though the industry is said as internet, reckon you studied art. I might be wrong ofcourse. I say that because there is nothing to suggest a scientific thought in the write-ups, which is great vis-à-vis Indian techies who keep on struggling to locate art in reviewing movies books et al. Also, the heavy modernist influence is evident; if you take that off and also let go of the giggliness in phrases, I’m sure there is a niche waiting to be carved. Surely it would be wonderful to see you justify your potential.

    PS- posted it here, because didn’t want spoil the birthday party.

  7. Thank you for a very kind compliment! I shall endeavour to take your words to heart and work on my writing with a vision for the future. :)